ITTF chief delighted with quality on show at London 2012 test event
Sunday, 27 November 2011
November 27 - Judit Farago, the chief executive and competitions executive director at the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF), said she is delighted with the quality on show at the four day London 2012 Olympic test event which has reached a conclusion at the ExCeL Arena.
The Pro Tour Grand Finals, which doubled up as the test event, saw the world's top stars battle it out for the $365,000 (£235,570/€272,900) prize money, while London 2012 used the competition to test key operations at the event including field of play, sports equipment, technology and workforce.
There were no surprises in the men's event where world number one Ma Long of China defeated teammate and 2011 World Singles Champion Zhang Jike for victory but there was a slight upset in the women's final as China's Liu Shiwen (pictured), the world number five, held off compatriot and world number one Ding Ning to claim the women's crown.
"We are delighted that as a result of the cooperation between London 2012, the ETTA (English Table Tennis Association) and ITTF, one of our biggest events, has served as a test event for the Olympics," said Farago.
"The ITTF Pro Tour Grand Finals is always the yearly highlight of the professional tour, but this time both the motivation and the interest from the players was higher than usual with the attraction of competing in what will be an Olympic venue next year.
"The standard of player is world class and it was the perfect time to bring back top international table tennis to London."
The event was ticketed to the public and Debbie Jevans, the London 2012 director of sport, said her organisation was happy with what transpired at the event.
"We worked hard with the ITTF and English Table Tennis Association to bring this high profile event to London," she said.
"The excellent sporting competition provided fantastic action and ensured that our operations were fully tested.
"We still need to have a full debrief but so far everything looks very good."